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Requirements for Illinois Reading Teacher Endorsement

Applicants for an Illinois Reading Teacher Endorsement must complete the following requirements:

1.   Pass either the Reading Teacher or Reading Specialist exam

2.   Twenty-four semester hours of coursework that addresses specific competencies (including literature appropriate for students in all grade levels) is required for each of the three reading teacher endorsements issued in Illinois.

The Reading Teacher Emphasis of the Graduate Reading Program as outlined in the 2014-2015 catalog requires completion of the following coursework:

EIS 500 Methods of Research (3 s.h.)

LLA 525 Literature and the Reader (3 s.h.)

RDG 568 Foundations of Reading in the Middle and Secondary School (3 s.h.) ….or…. RDG 569 Reading in Early Childhood (3 s.h.)

RDG 570 Integrating Literacy Instruction in the Elementary Curriculum (3 s.h.)

RDG 571 Literacy Assessment, Instruction and Intervention for Diverse Learners, K-5 (3 s.h.) ….or…. RDG 573 Literacy Assessment, Instruction and Intervention for Diverse Learners, 6-12 (3 s.h.)

RDG 576 Psychology of Reading (3 s.h.)

RDG 588 Leadership in Reading (3 s.h.)

RDG 587 Practicum in Reading K-5 (3 s.h.) ….or…. RDG 589 Practicum in Reading 6-12 (3 s.h.)

Three Electives   (reading, language arts, or literature; 9 s.h.)


The student may need to take other courses to meet licensure requirements in the state in which he/she resides. 

Features of the Reading Teacher Emphasis

The Reading Teacher emphasis is designed to enhance teachers’ knowledge of and skills in teaching literacy in their classrooms or teaching small groups of struggling readers. In some districts, individuals with an appropriate reading teacher endorsement are eligible for employment as Title I reading teachers.

In Illinois, the Reading Teacher Endorsement is available at the following grade levels:   K-3, K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. Teachers seeking the 5-8 grade level Reading Teacher Endorsement in Illinois must have a middle school endorsement. If you have an early childhood certificate, you are only eligible for the K-3 grade level endorsement.   If you have an elementary certificate, you are eligible for the K-4 grade level endorsement and the 5-8 grade level endorsement, if you have a middle school endorsement.   If you have a 6-12 certificate, you are eligible for the 9-12 grade level endorsement.

The Reading Teacher emphasis:

1.   Requires the completion of one practicum.

2.   Requires the completion of RDG 580 (Reading in the Content Areas), which is an Illinois requirement.

3.   Does not require the completion of the “Literacy Coaching Practicum.”

4.   Requires completion of LLA 525 (Literature and the Reader) which spans all grade levels and is required by Illinois.

If you are interested in the Iowa Reading Endorsement , please consult with your advisor.   Additional coursework may be needed.